A Guide to Face and Glasses Measurements

For many people, finding the perfect pair of glasses may be a lifelong journey. With so many different frame options and brands on the market, it can be hard to determine what you should try and what actually fits your unique face. Measuring your face and the glasses can save you a lot of time and money. 

All glasses come with measurements on the inside of the arm. These will tell you three important factors that not only relate to the glasses themselves but also to your face. These are the measurements that you need to know:

  • Eye Size
  • Bridge Size
  • Arm Length

Although these are three very important measurements to find the perfect glasses for your face, there are quite a few other measurements that you need to be aware of. Even small adjustments in multiple areas can make your glasses more comfortable. Let’s talk about everything you need to know about face and glasses measurements. 

What Measurements Do You Need for Glasses?

How many times have you just picked up frames that you thought looked cool without ever giving a thought to how they would actually fit your face? Probably quite a bit. Knowing the measurements for your face and glasses is not something that everyone is familiar with, but it can significantly impact the look and feel of your frames. 

Most frames will have specific measurements on the arm of them. This is to help you know the different sizes of the frames in relation to each other. Unless you know your face measurements, these may look like mess numbers and sometimes letters. 

Here are the face measurements that you need to know: 

  • Bridge of the Nose
  • Temple Width
  • Overall Face Shape
  • Bridge Location
  • Temple Length
  • Eye Size

Just like face measurements, glasses have their own set of unique measurements. The numbers on the arm tell you the eye size, bridge size, and arm length, but you should be aware of quite a few other numbers. 

Here are some essential glasses measurements to consider. 

  • The Material of the Frame
  • Frame Thickness
  • Frame Width
  • Lens Height and Width
  • Frame Shape

To some, measuring your face and glasses may seem like a waste of time. For others, they understand the importance of glasses fitting your face. Most of these measurements can be done quickly and at home. Let’s talk more about many of these measurements in detail. 

How to Measure Your Face and Glasses

When it comes to doing measurements for your face or even for glasses, a lot of people may think that it is hard to do alone or that they are not going to get the measurements correct. The truth is that there are very easy ways to measure your face at home, or even by yourself. 

Here are a few ways to measure your face, but here’s how to do it by yourself:

  • Start out by finding a mirror that shows your entire face and one that has good lighting. 
  • Using a flexible measuring tape or whatever you have on hand, start measuring different areas of your face. 
  • Measure the bridge of your nose, the width of your face from temple to temple, and the length of your temple all the way back behind your ear. 
  • Use these measurements to help determine what glasses you need. 

If you are unable to measure your face by yourself, ask a friend or family member for help. You can also use an image blown up to your face’s actual size and measure it that way. If you choose this method, make sure you have a picture of yourself facing straight forward in good lighting. 

You can also measure glasses to see if they are the right size for your face or even compare them to a pair you currently own. The measurements you will use are very similar to the measurements you would use for your face. On almost every pair of glasses, you can find exact measurements on the arm of the glasses. 

Depending on the size of your face, there are specific glasses sizes that you should start with. These are based on the size of your eye as well as your facial shape and even personal preference. 

Here are the basics of average frame sizes. 

  • Small Eyes: Less than 48 millimeters
  • Medium Eyes: 49 to 54 millimeters
  • Large Eyes: 55-58 millimeters
  • Extra Large: Above 58 millimeters

Understanding Face Measurements 

As we mentioned earlier, facial measurements are the single most crucial factor to consider when choosing glasses. Not only can they make sure the glasses actually stay on your face, but that they are comfortable and easy for you to see and use as well. 

The eye area on almost everyone can be very different. Even the placement of one bone can take off or add on millimeters that can change the shape of your face or even eyes. It can determine the width of your face and even your entire face shape. If you have ever wondered why there are so many glasses shapes, this is why!

The good news is that every one of these measurements can be done in the comfort of your own home. You just need a mirror, a measuring tape, and a friend if you feel the need. Here are the most critical face measurements to consider when picking out glasses. 

Bridge of the Nose

The bridge of your nose is the narrow area of your nose that rests between your eyes. This is usually where your glasses rest on your nose if you are currently wearing glasses. The bridge can help you determine a lot about how your glasses will fit you on a daily basis. 

There are some key factors that will help you measure your bridge:

  • Bridges can be narrow or wide. If your eyes are closer together, that typically means you have a narrow bridge. 
  • If your bridge is narrow, then you typically want to choose bridges that are between 14 and 18 millimeters. A wider bridge should go for nothing lower than 18 millimeters.

The bridge of your nose is going to be an important measurement. Not only can an incorrect bridge size make your glasses fit incorrectly, but it can be not easy to adjust over time as well. If you have a very narrow nose, you want to ensure that you are choosing a small bridge, even if it seems too small first. In most cases, those frames with smaller bridges will fit better.

Location of the Bridge

The location of the bridge of your nose can help you get additional measurements. For most people, your bridge falls one of two ways: Either below the pupil of your eye or above it. There are those who may see the bridge of their nose falling in line with their pupil, but it is not as common. 

  • If your bridge is under your pupil, start at 16 millimeters for your bridge size.
  • If your bridge is in line with your pupil, 18 is typically a good starting point for you. 
  • If your bridge is above your pupil, then you want to start at no lower than 19.

Temple Width

If you want your glasses to look good, you need to know the width of your temples. This is a crucial measurement to ensure that your glasses are not too large or too small for your shape. The temples are small indentations just beside the outer corner of your eye between your ears. 

Measure straight across your eyes.

  • This may be the right measurement to have someone assist you.
  • The measurement for your temples should be as close as possible to your glasses’ total width for a correct fit.

Temple width is one of those measurements used when both are measuring your face for glasses and the glasses themselves. When measuring your face’s temple width, make sure that you keep the measuring tape straight across your face. You may need help to ensure the correct measurement for this area.

Temple Length

Sometimes referred to as the glasses’ arms, knowing your temple length is another essential measurement to make sure that your glasses not only fit but that they are comfortable. You want to measure the length from your temples to your ears to determine this measurement. 

Here are some tips to determine your temple length:

  • The wider your temple width, the longer your temple length needs to be.
  • You do not want the arm of your glasses to stick beyond your ears. 
  • Those with a broader temple width often need at least 145 millimeters.
  • If you have a smaller width, you will most likely need lower than 140 millimeters.

Size of Your Eyes

Lastly is the size of your eyes. This is often referred to as the lens size. The shape of your eyes can help determine what style of frame works best for you. 

You can either quite literally measure your eye area or use a rough formula to figure yours out:

  • Subtract six millimeters from the total width as well as your bridge width.
  • If your eyes have a slant or tilt, you may want to allow a bigger lens size.

If you have smaller eyes, then you can typically get away with more styles of glasses. Those with a larger eye shape are often limited by the area available for the lens. Round, oval, rectangle, or square typically have the most extensive lens area, making them ideal for those with large or even an extra-large eye area.

Face Shape and Glasses Size

Now that we have covered different measurements that you need to have in order to make your glasses fit correctly, it is time to talk about the shape of your face. The shape of your face determines the possible size of glasses you need and what frame style will suit you the best. 

Here are the most common face shapes: 

  • Heart: Sometimes confused with a round face shape, the heart face shape has a significantly larger forehead. A narrow or slender jawline also characterizes it.
  • Oval: As you may expect, an oval face is much longer than others. It has more rounded features along the jawline. The forehead is typically the largest part of the face.
  • Rectangular: On the opposite of the oval face shape is the rectangular face shape. This is another shape that is longer than it is wide, but it has more definite features and harsher lines than others. This is also combined with a squared-off jawline.
  • Diamond: A diamond shape has a few defining features. The first being both a small forehead and a small chin. These features help separate it from being considered to be a round face. The forehead is not as large as a heart face shape.
  • Square: The most obvious giveaway for a square shape is the jawline. It is often very structural, and the jaw is very pronounced and defined.
  • Round: Often identified by a smaller face and having the cheeks being the face’s most expansive area.

Understanding Glasses Measurements

Now that we have thoroughly covered everything you need to know about in terms of face measurements for glasses, there are a few additional glasses measurements that you need to know about. Knowing these will ensure that you pick the appropriate frame style and size when picking out glasses. 

The Material of the Frame

The frame’s actual material may not be something you consider when you first start to look at glasses. The material of the frame plays a significant role in how much support the glasses need, as well as how they will rest on your face. The heavier the material, the more noticeable they will be to wear.

Most people recommend a rimless or a thin metal frame to keep that area streamlined by not adding any additional bulk for those who are worried about their glasses making their face appear larger or bulky. On the opposite end, a strong frame may balance out a heavy jawline. 

Frame Thickness

Along the same lines as the material of the frame is the thickness of the frame. If you choose a thin metal frame for your glasses, that pair will likely not fit the same as resin or plastic pair would. 

If you plan on wearing different frames, make sure that you take the frame thickness into account. 

  • Different frame thickness may literally take up more room on your face. You may need to go to a larger size if the frame is thick. 
  • If you are trying a new frame, it is always best to try it on before purchasing. 

Frame Width

As we mentioned earlier, the frame width can be determined by measuring the glasses’ width from arm to arm. This measurement helps you know how long they will be. You then compare that to your temple width to find the ideal frame size. The bridge size should be included in this measurement. 

Lens Height and Width

The lens’s height and width on a pair of glasses is another measurement that can be directly related to the facial measurements we discussed prior. Although they are self-explanatory, it is something that people commonly get wrong when choosing glasses. 

Here are a few tips to help you pick the best lens height and width:

  • Ideally, you do not want to be able to see the frame of your glasses while you are looking straight ahead.
  • Depending on your eye shape, you may want to increase your lens’s height and width to maximize your visibility while wearing your glasses.

Frame Shape

The last sort of measurement to consider when you are picking out new glasses is the overall frame shape. Since many glasses fit differently, chances are your face measurements may be better suited to a few different glasses’ styles. Here are the most common glasses and what face shape they work best with. 

  • Cat Eye: Cat Eyeglasses have been popular for decades thanks to icons such as Audrey Hepburn. They are characterized by an upward turn where the frame meets the arms of the glasses. These are best for people with a diamond or even oval face shape.
  • Oval: As you may expect with the name, an oval pair of glasses features an oval shape lens. Often times, these glasses come with thin frames as not to overwhelm the face. They complement oval, square, rectangular, and heart-shaped glasses.
  • Rectangle: For those who have a softer face shape such as round or oval, a rectangular pair of glasses can not only fit your face well, but it can give much-needed contrast to the wearer.
  • Round: Round glasses can actually be one of the more difficult glasses styles to pull off. Those with a broader jawline, such as square faces, can use round glasses to balance their faces. Round glasses can also help to soften your face.
  • Square: If you have a smaller face but are looking to add more definition to a round, oval, or even heart-shaped face, then a square is a great option. They can help balance your face and give quite a bit of coverage.

Something to keep in mind is that you should not be afraid to try different styles of glasses. Depending on the measurements that you received from your facial features, a style that you wanted to wear may not actually work with your face. Try out different frames and materials to see what suits you best. 

Why is it Important for Glasses to Fit Properly?

You may be asking yourself why the measurements and fit of our glasses even matter. There are a lot of people who simply go buy the first pair of glasses they see without a thought. Well, if you are someone who has to push up your glasses always up, then you have ill-fitting glasses. 

By not knowing your facial and glasses measurements, you are essentially going to end up spending more money and time than if you had purchased the proper pair in the first place. If you are not comfortable with measuring your own face or have glasses that fit poorly, make sure that you have a professional help you pick out glasses. 

Not only will a perfectly fitting pair of glasses fit better on your face, but they will also be more flattering to your overall face shape, they will not get in the way of your vision, and you won’t have to buy 50 pairs before you find the right ones.

Tips to Help You Find Good Fitting Glasses

Now that we have covered both measuring your face and different glasses measurements, there are a few additional tips that you should know about in order to make all of that effort work for you, not against you. 

Here are the top tips to help ensure that you have the best glasses fit possible. 

Buy from a Retailer You Trust

If you talk to anyone who wears a lot of glasses, then you probably know that they have a preferred brand or retailer. While brand loyalty can be ingrained in us just from shopping, most people now prefer one of the following reasons as to why they choose to shop at one location over another.

  • Customer Service
  • Varied Selection 
  • Great Craftsmanship
  • Great Prices

If you are just getting into buying higher-end glasses, then this may take you some time to figure out. Individual retailers offer both in-store and at-home trial sessions to help you choose what is right for you and your unique face.

Try Them on Before if You Can

As we just mentioned, you should always be trying on glasses if you can. Although specific frames may have similar measurements to what you are familiar with, that does not mean that they are precisely the same. Even going into a shop and trying on a pair of glasses can help you determine if they fit your face correctly or if you like them at all. 

If you are unable to find a brand that you want to try, see if they offer free shipping to your home to try out before you buy. Some retailers also offer an online simulator that lets you use a live image or an uploaded picture to see what different glasses and sizes look like on your face. But I personally as an optician can not recommend this technology yet. In most cases, you will not get the real look or the haptic feedback you would have directly if you touch the frames and try them on.

Use Adjusting Tools

In almost every glasses store, they sell different tools and items that you can use to make your glasses fit more comfortably. You can even purchase a small toolset that allows you to make adjustments whenever you need to. There is also extra padding that you can buy for select frames to supplement anywhere that fits oddly. 

  • Look for tools such as plyers and screwdrivers.
  • Some stores sell silicone or foam cushions to enhance the fit of your glasses.

Get Help in Store

Not only can you find tools in most stores, but they also probably have a great staff who is well-versed in their products as well as ways that you can adjust something to fit you even better. Many stores are also equipped to help you find what your facial measurements are.

Use Your Current Glasses as a Reference Point

Even though not all glasses are the same, using the glasses you currently have can be a great reference point. Start by measuring them to see what the temple width, length, and bridge size are. If they have an unsatisfactory fit at any point, remind yourself to go a size up or down depending on the feeling. 

If you are buying a pair of glasses from the same brand, the new frame style measurements should be quite similar to the glasses you already have. Make sure you ask questions when working with a sales associate or read the reviews before you head to the shop to purchase them. 

Final Thoughts

With more and more people wearing glasses each year, it is more important than ever to know your facial measurements and different glasses measurements. Even if you do not need glasses for vision, many brands use the same measurements for sunglasses, blue light blocking glasses, or similar products. 

A lot of people don’t realize just how custom a nice pair of glasses can truly be. Measurements ensure that your glasses fit you as well as flatter your face. Although there are a lot of measurements that you can perform on your face as well as a pair of glasses, there are three that both have in common. 

  • Eye or Lens Size
  • Temple Width
  • Temple Length

Additionally, things such as the overall shape of your face, the frames’ material, and even what kind of frame you choose all play a significant role in making the measurements you had to do actually work to your advantage. 

Even if you are unsure how to measure your face or a pair of glasses, there are a lot of tutorials available online to help you know exactly what to do. You can also visit a glasses store and ask for assistance. Not only can they make sure you know what size glasses you need, but ones that also fit your personal style and lifestyle.

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